Hatch Show Print has long been on our list of must-visit Nashville destinations. Now there’s even more of a reason to visit, since the institution has added its first-ever tour. The hour-long tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the U.S.
“This tour is attracting a different visitor than those who come to the Country Music Hall of Fame,” says Kay Clary, of the museum. Hatch Print Show moved there in 2013 after more than a century of turning out classic concert posters on Broadway. Among the visitors: letterpress aficionados and hipsters, lining up to learn about the history of printing, and Hatch Show.
Founded in 1879, the print shop survived when others didn’t, supported by Nashville’s music industry. The tour takes visitors up close to the carving blocks and the presses, which have changed very little since the Rev. William T. Hatch made his first item: a handbill for a Henry Ward Beecher speaking appearance.
Still going strong (check out their recent work), Hatch Show’s new home was designed to allow for tours and hands-on activities.
The coolest part? Tour takers get to make their own print as a souvenir when they leave. This year, it’s Hatch’s famed cowboy print, but it will be swapped out for another in 2015.
**Bonus: Opening today at the Country Music Hall of Fame is a retrospective of Kenny Rogers’ life and work. Letterpress and The Gambler? We’re in.
Hatch Show Print is located at 224 5th Ave. South Tours are offered daily at 12:30, 2, and 3:30 p.m., except for the first Sunday of the month (following the First Saturday Art Crawl, during which a family program is offered). Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be booked online.